The Dolgellau area lends itself beautifully to the needs of the runner, from the sheep cropped grassy hills of the Meirionnydd mountains to the quiet roads and trails of the valleys below. Dolgellau is home to a variety of running events, and race routes can be easily adapted to create a variety of runs to suit all levels and tastes.
The town's most famous race, Ras Cader Idris, has been run since 1991, starting and finishing outside the tourist information centre and climbing to the summit of Pen y Gadair, which towers 2930 feet above the town. The route can be shortened considerably by starting and finishing at the Ty Nant car park above the Gwernan lake.
Race the Train is organised locally by the Tywyn Rotary Club. The 14 mile race against a local steam train takes place alongside the route taken by the Talyllyn Railway on its journey from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and back. The course uses a mixture of public roads, lanes, un-metalled roads, tracks, agricultural land, and rough grazing pastures. Often the passenger train, or for many runners just the railtrack, is right over the fence, so friends and family can shout encouragement from the carriages.
The Meirionnydd Running Club, established in the town in 2006, meets each Wednesday evening and visitors are always welcome. The club organises a series of races throughout the year. The Penmaenpool 10 mile race starts and finishes at the George III Hotel, following the Mawddach trail (a disused railway line) which is totally flat, well surfaced and completely traffic free. Out and back routes along this course can be tailored to suit individual needs. The town’s main road race is 5 miles in length and forms part of the ever popular Rotary Club Summer Fair. The route forms a loop, following quiet country lanes, starting and finishing on the Marian Mawr, the town’s main car park.